Brothers Leon and Jeremy Hayward secured places in the Kookaburras squad, which left Malaysia and Pakistan scoreless before defeating Argentina 9-4 in the final.
“We’ve been playing hockey since we were four or five, so to play for Australia is really exciting,” said Leon Hayward.
“The series is important because it gives young players like us valuable experience playing at the top level.”
23-year-old Leon and 20-year-old Jeremy grew up in Darwin, leaving their hometown to pursue their hockey dreams in Perth. Both decided to enrol in university while living here.
“One of the hockey players suggested Murdoch University because of its Elite Athlete program, which has been great for us,” Leon said.
“I’m now about a year and a half into my accounting degree, and getting some experience at a firm in the city.”
Jeremy has nearly completed the first year of his Bachelor of Education course and admits juggling training and studies can be tough.
“We train three to four times a week and hit the gym regularly, so there’s not a lot of free time,” he said.
Elite Athlete Liaison Officer Jason Rickersey said he works with university staff to arrange assignment extensions and deferred exams, so that Murdoch’s elite athletes can focus on their sporting careers.
“We also give them advice on enrolment and help them prepare for a career once their playing days are over,” Mr Rickersey said.
Jeremy said he hopes his education degree will allow him to travel the world, possibly as an elite hockey coach.
“It’s the kind of job which can travel with you – teachers are needed all over the world,” he said.
For now, both Leon and Jeremy are focussed on training for a number of upcoming tournaments, and hope to compete in next year’s Commonwealth Games.